Epic Beauty and Endless Thrills

Lake Wanaka Tourism

by Karolyn Julès & Lawrence Smith

Our team has worked with Lake Wanaka Tourism as their digital partner since 2010. In 2016 we partnered with them to build a new site for the new generation of mobile travellers. Our team tells the story.

Wanaka is a spectacular destination in the South Island of New Zealand.

Our team has worked with Lake Wanaka Tourism as their digital partner since 2010. In 2016 we partnered with them to build a new site for the new generation of mobile travellers. Our team tells the story.

Meet Your Visitors

We always start every project with the people that matter most, your customers, or in this instance, visitors to Wanaka.

Content strategist Claire McCallum facilitated a strategy session with 20 local businesses. The group shared their insights on who Wanaka visitors are, and what experiences appeal most to each group. Then they workshopped their key visitor personas.

Claire remembers that one of the fascinating things about the day was how every person in the room had different opinions on who visits Wanaka, and who were their most important visitors from a tourism revenue perspective.

She says, “This debate isn’t uncommon, we often encounter this in strategy sessions. These discussions show the enormous value of making time to come together and talk about your visitors. The more you consider who your visitors are, and what they want from you, the better an experience you can offer them. That’s why visitor personas are so valuable.”

in visits to business listings pages year-on-year

145%

in referrals to member business websites year-on-year

128%

in website traffic year-on-year

29%

A Rolling Conversation

Digital designer and developer, Johnny Hall, remembers the project. “Our relationship with Wanaka is very reciprocal. At TimeZoneOne, we don’t use the model where all information from our client partners is relayed via the account manager. We try to give our partners access to all the key people working on a project.

“I remember one day I’d designed the site search function. I emailed the Wanaka team saying, ‘I’d really like to share this with you. I think I’ve just made one of the best things I’ve ever designed!’ And we jumped straight on Skype, bounced some ideas around, and ended up with something even better. We had a continual rolling conversation about the design.

“That sort of relationship is based in trust and respect. The Wanaka team value our professional expertise, and they know we all want to create the best possible product. When you know you have each others’ best interests at heart, projects go better.”

Content Led Design

Johnny believes Wanaka’s best asset is its content. “Their content is remarkably good. The Wanaka team really get the importance of visual inspiration. I’m looking at the site now, and it’s super inspiring. The images are incredible, and they publish regularly. It’s no wonder the site is performing so well, with content this strong.”

“My approach to design is content led. I don’t believe I’m a great designer, but I’m good at arranging content. I love that the web has transitioned full circle from basic pages of content, through a wasteland of flash and frills with not much substance, now right back to a content driven mentality again. The web is a much more useful and beautiful place for it.”

Wanaka Case Study - Mobile Pages

The Proof of The Pudding

Lake Wanaka Tourism General Manager, James Helmore tells us, “We thought we had a great site when we launched in December 2016, but the proof is always with the way visitors interact with the content, and flow through to the product.

“Since launch, referrals to our member business websites, a key metric for us, increased by 128% over the same period last year, a fantastic result! Plus, the feedback and accolades from our members and industry colleagues has been extremely positive.

“We are extremely pleased with the new look site. The design has given us a powerful platform to express our brand story, and reinforces our positioning nicely. The best part is that we are only just starting on getting the site really performing.”

Wanaka Case Study Images - 13

Launching a New Site is Just the Beginning

Once Wanaka’s new site goes live, we started to measure user interaction, and identify opportunities for improvement. This data-driven approach helps the Lake Wanaka Tourism team continually enhance their website performance in an informed manner, based on user outcomes.

By adapting a philosophy of continual evolution, we’re ensuring the site stays relevant to the needs of modern, technologically savvy travellers.

A True Partnership

Account manager, Karolyn Jules says. “I really enjoy working with James and Tess. There is great trust on both sides. The relationship is open and respectful, and they really value our advice and our honesty.”

“Wanaka is one of my top destinations in New Zealand. There’s everything in one beautiful location. My partner and I can go from kite surfing, to standing on the peak of a mountain, in one day.

“I love that when we visit the Lake Wanaka team we spend half the day talking business, and then half the day catching up and enjoying the view. You know you’re a good team when you work well together and have a good personal connection. James and Tess are just very joyous people.”

Growing Local Business

We’re proud to have created a site that reflects the beauty and serenity of the Wanaka region. We’re proud to have designed a site that was short listed for the Best Awards. But most of all, we’re proud to be delivering leads to local Wanaka businesses, and growing their local economy. Making a difference is what drives us.

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